I’m back! Returned home yesterday afternoon (Friday afternoon). It all went well. Went into the hospital on Monday, the operation was done on Wednesday, so four nights in. It was more complicated than they thought once they got inside my arm and shoulder. The end result is they took out 30 per cent of my right bicep, sawed some bone off, repaired some torn tendons and put in a titanium screw. Still some pain and restriction on movement, but I have medicine and should be completely right in another few weeks. Thursday morning, I was in extreme pain and had absolutely no use whatsoever of my right arm, whereas now I can get around and type this, so it’s coming along quickly.
Pardon me for saying, too, but there was some nice eye candy. The day before the operation, the operating nurse stopped by for a chat, and she was very cute. But later on, I kid you not, one of the most beautiful Thai ladies I have ever seen in my life – and that is saying a lot, believe me – walked into my room. I’m thinking, “Mmm, Baby, please tell me you’ve come to give me a sponge bath.” But no, she was my anesthesiologist! Trouble is, she looked like she should still be in high school. But no, she was indeed a trained and experienced anesthesiologist.
Later still, three more little cuties, all wearing white medical coats, walk into my room! My first thought was, “Oh no! Some friends have hired some of the Eden girls and sent them in as a get-well present, and my wife is right here!” (Eden is a well-known French-run local brothel that specializes in, among other things, costume fantasies.) But no, this being a teaching hospital – Chulalongkorn Hospital – these three were medical students. They said they’d be on the team with my doctor the next day and had stopped by for a chat. But after alll of these very pretty, hard-working medical professionals, I was really starting to feel like I was suddenly living in some sort of porno fantasy.
I enjoyed the morphine drips and was a bit put out that they wouldn’t let me take a couple of them home with me.
And this was my first experience with a catheter, which I did not enjoy at all. They removed it yesterday, and I have high hopes of someday once again being able to piss without it hurting. I can only thank whatever gods exist that I was unconscious when they put the damned thing in.
The cost for everything – four nights’ room and board (600 baht, or about US$17.50, per night for a bed and three meals a day in a double room; private singles are in tight demand in that hospital, but no one ever occupied the other bed in my case, so it sort of was a private room), surgeon’s fee, medicine (including several morphine drips), EVERYTHING – was only 55,138 baht ($1600), much lower even than the 70,000 baht we had anticipated, and insurance will cover most if not all of that. Contrast this with the 400,000 baht (that’s a whopping $11,800!) that the big five-star Western-oriented BNH Hospital wanted for two nights for the same operation, the vast majority of that paid out of pocket, and consider that it’s even the same surgeon who performed the operation. Of course, being a teaching hospital, your case is made available to medical and nursing students to study, and a few groups came around to check me out, so I guess you could say the difference in cost is the patient’s fee for helping educate the medical students. Students are in the operating theater assisting the doctor, too, but it’s his show, he is very much in charge. It was a very positive experience.
My double room was pretty basic and I guess you could say Third World-ish, although that conjures up a negative image that I don’t mean to give it. It was clean and air-conditioned. But no TV, no telephone, and bathrooms and shower room were down the hall. I stayed in the queue for a private single room should one open up – besides the private singles having private bathrooms, the wife could stay with me on the couch in one, but no one can stay overnight with patients in the double rooms even if the second bed is not occupied – but one never did open up. It worked out okay, though.
And for those of you who have been following my pigeon thread, you’ll be amused to know that the entire time I was there, the wife and I were kept entertained by a pigeon couple who were continually having sex on the same spot on a ledge of a building across the way. (I guess this is what happens when there’s no TV to watch.)